Week 2: Sit 'Em
This weekly column will feature players that are normally solid bets for fantasy production, but not worth starting in a particular week.
As I sit here watching the Kansas City vs. San Diego Monday night game, I cannot help but think about those who flopped in Week 1. Boy am I glad I did not start Shonn Greene. I was also disappointed in Adrian Peterson's non scoring effort. On the other hand, we saw some superb play from some unexpected players. My personal favorite is the less than expected fantasy production of some quarterbacks; notably, Rodgers, Brees, McNabb, Schaub and at this moment, Rivers.
For Week 2 I suspect we will see more anomalies. My instincts tell me that we should be aware of the downside to starting these players this week:
Jerome Harrison has the Hillis factor, plus the Kansas City defense looks good under Romeo. Oops, wrote too early -- big touchdown.
Matt Schaub did not look great in Week 1 and had only 17 attempts. Washington gave Romo and Dallas problems, so we will see if Arian Foster plays a greater role again.
Kevin Kolb suffered a Week 1 concussion and Vick stepped up his game. Concussions can linger and it is wise to wait and see how Kolb comes back.
Beanie Wells did not play in Week 1 because of his bruised knee. He is reportedly ready to practice Wednesday, so we will see. Hightower is a threat to steal carries.
DeSean Jackson had 4 receptions for 30 yards in Week 1. This performance was a huge disappointment. Jackson may have to face Week 2 without Kolb and that is not in his favor.
Ronnie Brown had less carries than Ricky Williams, yet scored. This week neither of these guys is a smart start against the Minnesota defense.
Kolb was ranked inside the top twenty fantasy performers in most leagues for Week 1. Unfortunately, Kolb suffered a concussion and Michael Vick stepped in to rack up over 100 yards rushing and threw for a touchdown. Philadelphia insists Kolb is still the starter, but he must first pass the NFL's concussion test protocol. I do not see Kolb returning within a week, but who knows. Concussions can be nasty and linger on occasion. I think Vick will get the start, or at least plenty of touches and snaps. Kolb is worth a look when he is back in full health.
Schaub threw for a mere 107 yards with one score, one interception and two sacks on Sunday in 17 attempts. Arian Foster's speed and agility did the job against Indianapolis and I think Foster might play a larger role again this week at Washington. This means Schaub could see relegated duties again. Foster will not likely see the same opportunities he had in Week 1, but I think he will find success against the Washington line. Schaub is likely to have a better performance than in Week 1 -- maybe 215 yards and a score. In a few weeks, however, we will see the Schaub - Johnson show take off. For now, play it safe if you have another option.
Ricky Williams actually had more attempts than Ronnie Brown in Week 1. This is the type of data I track as a fantasy owner. I want to know who burdens the workload and will therefore see greater opportunities. Yes, Brown scored the touchdown, but this running scheme is two-fold. Williams is going to steal carries from Brown this season and this week against Minnesota will not be easy. Look for Miami to try to grind this one out on the ground, but encounter problems. Brown and Williams can only pack so much of a punch before the Minnesota defense will figure them out. Miami will go to the air in this match-up. This will be an interesting game with Peterson coming off a lackluster Week 1 and Miami looking to steal one on the road.
I would not count Harrison down and out quite yet, but he is on my list to sit this week. The Kansas City defense actually looked great against San Diego's high powered offense through the half. Harrison is definitely in jeopardy of losing more carries, especially red zone carries to Peyton Hillis. Hillis was a force in Denver's hard running scheme before he was injured. Hillis is a powerhouse back that will make a hole where one needs to be. Harrison will get his chances and I feel has greater value than Hillis in the long term. I do recommend sitting Harrison in Week 2 given the running back circumstances and the fact that Kansas City's defense looks quite stout.
Wells did not play in Week 1 because of his bruised knee. He will likely return to practice Wednesday and take a light workload. We will have to wait and see if Wells will be healthy enough to take carries in Week 2. Tim Hightower had a solid performance despite fumbles and is a stand in for Wells if needed. I somehow question whether we will see Wells on the field against Atlanta. I have a hunch that Hightower will be your man again this week even if Wells plays.